With Aaron Sorkin recently saying he’s probably leaving television behind for good after this third and final season of HBO’s The Newsroom, the West Wing and Moneyball scribe is zeroing in on his next feature film assignment. Sorkin was in high demand after winning the Oscar for his brilliant The Social Network screenplay, and he tackled an adaptation of Walter Isaacson’s Steve Jobs biography as his follow-up film. With the Jobs movie off the ground and heading towards starting production next year with Danny Boyle directing and Michael Fassbender possibly starring as the Apple innovator, Sorkin is now looking to put his talents towards a biopic of a wholly different sort.
The screenwriter will adapt Molly Bloom’s memoir Molly’s Game, which chronicles how an intelligent and driven world class skier and political science major came to be running the most exclusive high stakes poker game in the world. More after the jump.
Per Deadline, The Mark Gordon Company has optioned the film rights to Molly’s Game and has set Sorkin to pen the screenplay. Mark Gordon will produce, and he and Sorkin have already been working together on the Steve Jobs film at Sony. That picture takes a unique angle to the tried-and-true biopic structure, as it’s made up only of three very long scenes that take place before three major Apple product launches.
The story of Molly Bloom is incredibly interesting and should make great fodder for a feature film. After failing to make the Olympic skiing team, Bloom opted to take a year off from college before law school and get a job in Los Angeles. As luck would have it—and through a bizarre series of circumstances—Bloom ended up running the most exclusive high stakes poker game in the world for eight years, during which she made millions of dollars. Subsequently, it all came crashing down when the FBI became hip to the game.
When Sorkin was first tapped to write the script for The Social Network, it was initially pegged as an adaptation of the non-fiction book The Accidental Billionaires. Of course he only used the source material as a jumping off point and ended up telling a timeless story of greed, betrayal, and success, so I’m interested to see where he takes Molly’s Game. He’s also working on an adaptation of Moneyball author Michael Lewis‘ book Flashboys and still has the long-in-development John Edwards film The Politician (which he intends to direct) on tap, so it’s unclear where Molly’s Game falls into his schedule.
As Sorkin has fielded criticisms for his portrayal of women in the past (namely on The Newsroom), I’m curious to see what he does with a female-driven drama such as this. For what it’s worth, I think some of the issues people have with how he writes women may have something to do with his romantic sensibilities, which are rooted in the romantic comedies of the 30s, 40s, and 50s and can frankly be a tad misogynistic at times. By and large, though, I think Sorkin writes most of his characters the same regardless of gender, which can sometimes be one of the drawbacks to his signature style. And if you don’t think Allison Janney‘s C.J. Cregg from The West Wing isn’t an impeccably realized female character, I don’t know what to tell you.